May 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
Escape. Just a little one. But an escape into a sunny, late autumn afternoon.
May 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It was clear to anyone watching them that the little dog and his owner loved each other. Despite all her frustration and her ineptitude, the little dog’s owner was trying her very hardest to help him. And despite all of his anxiety and stress, the little dog was trying to work with her.
And they were failing miserably.
They had been failing together for five years.
May 20, 2013 § Leave a Comment
No, not a wine, but my new puppy. Meet Muirlea Rise Pinot, called “Pinot”. Unplanned. It happened on my induction as a volunteer dog walker at the Wellington SPCA. She looked at me and I thought, “Oh no”. I resisted. Then I took her for a walk … and then I took her home. 4-months old when I adopted her, now 23 weeks. Wonderful black-and-white puppy terror. She had come into the SPCA with her mum and six litter mates. And because they came from the Wairarapa they called each puppy of the litter after a vineyard in the area. There was Julicher, Voss, TK, Murdoch James, Ashwell, and Margrain. They all had been adopted. Only Muirlea Rise was left of the puppies. Muirlea Rise is a boutique vineyard that makes a good Pinot Noir and the name was so out there that I just had to keep it.
By the way, the mum, Alana, is still available for adoption from the SPCA. She is a beautiful and smart collie x.
February 22, 2013 § Leave a Comment
February 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
One of Tuhi’s most favourite games is us fooling around with a broom. She just loves chasing brooms. It’s one of our let’s just go crazy and get really excited fun times. Oh, yes, and in between some tricks.
This is one of our videos for Silvia Trkman’s online tricks class. For week 2 we were to continue exploring different ways of playing with our dogs … and to post our dog’s favourite game.
January 29, 2013 § 4 Comments
The theme of this week’s photo challenge is love.
January 21, 2013 § 2 Comments
This book is worth a much, much longer review, but alas there are so many other things to do, so just a brief one.
Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training is an oldie. First published in 1984 it was part of the whole start of clicker training in the dog training world. But although being a time-honoured classic, the book is worth reading–or, if you’ve already done so, even rereading. It’s fun, and it manages to pack a whole lot of useful knowledge into a really readable little book. I’ve been reading, for the first time, the 2002 revised edition, reprinted in 2009.
Pryor explains the principles of positive reinforcement and clicker training. Clear and entertaining–the animal in training in her ‘case studies’ often is us, with our bad habits. For anyone who wants to understand animal behaviour. If nothing else, read the “10 Laws of Shaping” and the “8 Methods to Get Rid of Behaviour You Don’t Want”. These two sections are a good primer on real positive reinforcement training, showing the fallout of the use of punishment, corrections or any other aversives, for that matter.
Get a clicker, or get out your old one and brush it off, or remind yourself of what other marker signal you’ve used (Yes!), and have fun with your dog.